SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—A new report from Fox Entertainment’s free streaming service Tubi is predicting that subscription fatigue will boost audiences for ad-supported VOD (AVOD) services past the size of SVOD services in 2022.
“The Stream: 2022 Audience Insights for Brands” report also provided some new metrics for Tubi’s performance.
The report revealed that Tubi had 3.6 billion hours streamed in 2021, a 40% YoY increase in total viewing time (TVT) across its largest-in-streaming library of more than 40,000 titles. Further, Tubi’s incremental audience continues to complement other potential video ad investments – with 71% of Tubi streamers unreachable on cable, 56% unreachable on linear TV, and 27% unreachable on any other major free streaming platform.
“Our findings in `The Stream’ bring AVOD to the forefront of streaming investment planning for brands in 2022, as well as a necessary complement to existing linear TV strategy,” said Natalie Bastian, senior vice president, marketing, Tubi. “At Tubi, we’ve focused on connecting with new communities — both by accessing FOX’s desirable audience as well as partnering with next generation platforms to reach audiences not found on linear television — and it’s paid off with rapid growth among key audience segments.”
The report predicts that free streaming’s audience will grow larger than paid streaming by mid-2022, noting that AVOD audiences grew twice as fast (+16%) as SVOD (+8%) in 2021.
In 2022, The Stream projects that the current gap of about 5% in market penetration will close, with the number of AVOD users surpassing SVOD.
The report also found that free streaming viewership is expanding rapidly among educated and higher-income earners and becoming more reflective of national audience averages. AVOD adoption was led by the young (who still over-index vs. general population), but mature, educated and affluent audiences are growing rapidly, the researchers said.
Tubi itself has seen double-digit growth in all audience segments over the past year — with the most growth among college educated and affluent ($100k+ HHI) demos, placing Tubi on par with U.S. national averages, the report said.
With an average viewer 16+ years younger than non-streamers, Tubi’s audience has become nationally representative across geographic, economic and educational segments, and includes a large multicultural audience, comprising 40% of its user base, the report said.
It also reported that over a quarter (27%) of Tubi streamers can’t be reached on any other major AVOD service: 78% aren’t on Peacock, and 62% aren’t on Hulu; however, 71% subscribe to Netflix, currently unreachable by ads.
“The Stream” report also projects that half of all internet users will use free streaming services by 2024, and by 2026, ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) revenues will triple 2021 levels, reaching $31.5 billion.
Light ad loads are also helping, the report noted. Tubi has some of the lightest ad load in the AVOD space: only 4-6 minutes per hour of viewing, giving advertisers increased brand recognition and recall in an environment where viewers are most receptive. This compares to traditional TV, with an ad load of 13-17 minutes every hour. Tubi streamers are 10% more likely than the general population to state “I like to look at advertising.”
For the report, Tubi commissioned survey research with MarketCast. It conducted an online survey of 6,003 adult streamers over 18 years of age in Q4 2021.
The full report is available here.
Get the TV Tech Newsletter
The professional video industry's #1 source for news, trends and product and tech information. Sign up below.
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.